Reservoir walk at Fernworthy

Sunday morning wakes to cloudy skies and a cool summer breeze, a promising start for a reservoir walk on Dartmoor.

Fernworthy is situated just a few miles from the Dartmoor town of Chagford, the reservoir covers 76 acres of land and holds about 380 million gallons of water.
The footpath around the reservoir was today’s route, a mixture of forest, meadow and of course the breathtaking Dartmoor scenery.

Armed with my usual X100F, a tripod and some filters, the conditions were good for some long exposure shots across the reservoir, to accentuate both cloud and water movement.
I have always enjoyed long exposure landscape photography, there is a discipline I enjoy in setting up the shot in a deliberate fashion, working out the exposure required with a 10-stop filter and deciding upon the composition of the shot.

Today, with its overcast skies was a perfect opportunity for some monochrome shots, for these I will shoot a JPEG and RAW image, seeing the scene in black and white through the viewfinder helps to visualise the final shot.

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There is a single tree along this path that I had been wanting to capture with a long exposure and while I did take the image, I will wait for another day when the leaves will remain still for the shot I would like.

With the tripod put back in its case and the various filters packed neatly away, it was time for some of the close up shots I like to take when I am around woods or moor, just one of the benefits of the 35mm focal length is its versatility.

Where the footpath comes away from the waters edge and into meadow, the ground is a carpet of summer flora, pinks, yellows and whites, a cacophony of colour to please the senses.

Once again, Dartmoor delivers with another display of its natural beauty, this is why it will always be my place away from the madding crowd.

Tuesday on the moor

An opportunity to go walking on Dartmoor is rarely passed up when it is offered, yesterday morning was no exception, so just after 9am, I am heading to a well photographed part of the moor, Windy Post.

Also known as Beckamoor cross or Windy stone, the stone is thought to have been placed here in the 16th century, however there are other schools of thought that suggest otherwise.
The cross is well known for it’s slight leaning, probably from the Dartmoor ponies that have seen it as a convenient scratching post.

The waterway flowing alongside the cross is the Grimstone and Sortridge leat, a handy watering hole for the ponies and sheep that graze the area.

There seemed to be a lot more Dartmoor ponies in the area today, also a good few foals shadowing mum, one or two curious ones very keen to introduce themselves, some not quite so confident.

While the day was not particularly sunny, it was very humid, I was thankful I had taken a bigger water bottle for today’s amble, as usual I was quite happy just to sit on a rock and take in the scenery, Dartmoor never fails to fill the senses with pleasure.

After taking the usual long exposure shots, it was a joy to watch the equine residents come to the leat to take on water, the moody skies providing the perfect backdrop.

 

 

Of course, I came back with the usual large shipment of photos, the above are my pick of the bunch.

Bonus outings

Generally my photo trips are arranged a few days beforehand, a plan is then stitched together with places to visit on the way, or on the way back home later in the day.
Occasionally these planned days may get postponed, leaving a feeling of disappointment but the flip side of these days, are the ones where an outing is somehow squeezed into a day unexpectedly.

Yesterday was one such day, even if it was for just a few minutes.
One of the hobbies I have had for some years, is computers, programming to a very basic level and building them from scratch, it was this latter skill that was called upon yesterday, a gaming PC to build from scratch for an old school friend.
I really enjoy the building process, these days, it is seems much easier, the process I like less, is the software installation.

The build went smoothly, the operating system was up and running, I was expecting to spend the next 2-3 hours installing application after application, until my friends wife said she was happy to finish this off.
Not one to argue with this turn of luck, I had some errands to run in town, and decided I would take my camera for a few street shots……

A few street shots with a fifteen minute time limit, another creativity challenge I occasionally set myself from time to time… oh yes, I had also decided to shoot jpeg only and only allow cropping as my post process.

Anyone that uses a Fujifilm camera will know that the Fuji Jpeg engine is legendary for its output, also that with in camera settings, it is possible to produce some lovely contrasty images, a look that I tend to edit in a lot of my images anyway.

 

I took about 20 -25 photos in my allotted time and yes, I am very self disciplined the last shot was taken in the last 10 seconds.
The shots above are my pick of the bunch, the bright conditions made for some good reflections and shadows.

Despite the shortage of the time I had available for this mini shoot, it was just as much fun as the longer planned trips I make.